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You, your spouse, and your dependent children may be covered by the plan if you have seniority.
You are eligible to participate in the plan after you have 90 days of seniority and:
Probationary and part-time employees are not eligible.
Your eligibility ends if you have been continuously laid off for a period exceeding 24 months after the month in which your layoff began.
Loss of seniority
If you are otherwise eligible and have lost seniority under the terms of any of the UAW-DaimlerChrysler Corporation national agreements, you are not eligible to receive benefits under this plan. If you are reinstated and reacquire seniority with the Corporation, your eligibility, if any, will resume on the date you reacquire seniority. Your eligibility, however, will not end while a grievance regarding your loss of seniority is being pursued by the Union under any of the national agreements.
If you are otherwise eligible, you will remain eligible while on an approved leave of absence.
Your husband or wife is eligible if you are married under the laws of the relevant jurisdiction. (A spouse by common-law marriage is eligible only where such a relationship is recognized by the laws of the jurisdiction. Michigan and many other states do not recognize common-law marriage.)
If you die, your spouse is eligible to participate if he or she is receiving surviving spouse benefits under the transition, bridge, or health insurance benefits under the DaimlerChrysler Corporation Health Care Benefits Plan. Your surviving spouse, if not otherwise eligible to participate, shall continue to be eligible to participate until the end of the sixth month following the month of your death.
Your dependent children are eligible provided they meet the following requirements:
An unmarried child who has reached the end of the calendar year in which he or she becomes 25 is eligible if disabled by a medically determinable condition preventing substantial gainful activity, which can be expected to be of long, continued, or indefinite duration or result in death. Such a disabled child who has reached the end of the calendar year in which he or she attained 25 years must legally reside with or be a member of your household and must be dependent upon you.
Notwithstanding the above, your dependent children, not otherwise eligible to participate, shall continue to be eligible to participate until the end of the sixth month following the month of your death.
Other persons dependent upon you are eligible. "Dependent upon" means that you provide the individual's principal support (as defined by Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States, as amended), and are entitled to, report the individual as a dependent on the current tax years federal income tax return.
What Is Covered
Full Legal Services
The Plan provides full legal service benefits for matters such as real estate closings, consumer complaints, and termination of social security disability benefits.
The Plan will provide all necessary and appropriate legal services including office work and litigation for any of the items listed below. Appeals, where appropriate, are also included for these matters, except for IRS audits and administrative proceedings:
Appeals may be provided for Medicare claims but only if, in the opinion of the Director or his or her designee, there is a substantial likelihood of prevailing on such appeal.
The plan also will provide all necessary and appropriate legal services including office work and litigation for any of the items listed below. Appeals are provided upon approval of the administrative committee for these matters:
Attorneys will be provided for in-court representation in uncontested divorce cases, uncontested custody cases, uncontested non-support cases and uncontested alimony cases, but only in jurisdictions in which an attorney is required to appear in court to finalize the proceedings.
Attorneys will be provided in post-divorce modification of child support orders or alimony orders, but only where there has been a material change in your earnings from the Corporation.
There are no time limits or maximums on full legal services benefits.
Attorney Office Work
Office work is provided for traffic offenses, divorce, veterans' benefit claims, and other specified matters.
For those matters not covered as a full legal service and not listed in the section, "What the Plan Doesn't Cover," work by an attorney in his or her office is a covered benefit.
The types of office work that may be provided include legal drafting and preparation of legal documents, legal research, factual evaluations, document review, telephone calls, correspondence, or self-help counseling where appropriate.
For example, you can receive office assistance for:
Office work only service is provided to employees, retirees, spouses and surviving spouses, where the request for services under the Plan is solely for the purpose of preparing for, or dealing with, the incapacity or death of the mother, father, step-mother, or step-father of an employee, retiree, spouse or surviving spouse. Such Office Work Only services will be provided for Guardianships, Probate Proceedings, Wills, Codicils and Trusts, tenant representation, leases on personal or family residence, property damage (real and personal), real estate closing on family or personal residence, other real estate on family or personal residence, including purchase, sale, mortgage foreclosure, boundary dispute, zoning and eminent domain and property tax assessment dispute. The Plan, however, can only provide these services if all necessary family members consent to the Plan's representation and waive conflicts of interest.
When a plan staff attorney determines that a referral to a cooperating attorney is required because services beyond the office work benefits is necessary, office work benefits end.
You will be referred to a cooperating attorney for legal services beyond those covered by other parts of the plan. You pay the attorney's fees at specified rates.
You can receive a referral to a cooperating attorney:
In these cases, you will be referred to a cooperating attorney. Cooperating attorneys have an agreement through the plan to provide quality work for plan members. You pay the costs of the services according to a scheduled fee negotiated by the plan.
If you have questions or concerns about the services you receive from a cooperating attorney, you may call the plan's legal staff for advice on how to handle the situation.
What Is Not Covered
Although many legal services are provided, some services are limited or totally excluded.
Limitations of Coverage
Full legal services benefits are not provided for plaintiff actions on small claims ($700 or less), or personal injury actions.
The office-work-only benefit does not include preparation of tax returns, matters where representation on a contingent fee basis is available, or matters where litigation is pending.
Exclusions From All Coverages
The following are excluded from all coverages:
How to Make a Claim
Receiving Plan Benefits
Services are provided by the Plan's legal staff or by a cooperating attorney.
If You Live or Work Near a Plan Office
Legal services are provided directly by the Plan's legal staff if you live or work near a plan office. Plan offices are listed in the section entitled "Where Plan Offices Are Located." You should call the plan office in your area, collect, for an appointment. When you call a plan office, your eligibility will be checked and an appointment will be set. Then an attorney will be free to meet with you. If you don't call in advance, you may have to wait. If you prefer, you may talk to an attorney over the phone before making an appointment.
If You Do Not Live or Work Near a Plan Office
If you do not live or work near a plan office, you may call the national office for a referral to a cooperating attorney in your area. In this case, the plan pays the cooperating attorney for all services provided that are covered by the plan. To reach the national office, call toll free 1-800-482-5007 or 1-800-521-5203.
An Important Note
The attorney providing plan services represents you on an individual basis. You are entitled to the attorney's protection of your interests. Information exchanged between you and an attorney is treated confidentially.
In many cases, sound advice or a step taken early can keep a minor legal problem from turning into a major one. You'll receive the most benefit from the plan if you contact an attorney as soon as you know you'll be involved in a situation in which legal counsel is needed.
Any participant who, for any reason, is dissatisfied with any action or inaction of a staff attorney or cooperating attorney or legal worker in connection with the plan, has the right to make a written complaint to the appropriate assistant director, who will, within 30 days, prepare a proposed written decision, and forward it, with the complaint, to the director for approval. The director shall, within 20 days, furnish the participant with a copy of his or her written decision. A participant who is dissatisfied with the director's decision may, within 30 days after the date of the decision, appeal to the Administrative Committee. Appeals shall be in writing and shall specify the reason claimed to justify a reversal or modification of the director's decision. Initially, the Committee will vote on whether or not it wishes to hear the appeal. The Committee may, however, by majority vote, adopt procedures governing the handling and types of appeals that it will review. If the Committee chooses not to review an appeal, the decision of the director will be final and binding on all parties, and the director will so notify the participant in writing. If the Committee decides to review an appeal, the director shall give the participant written notice of the Committee's decision, which shall be final and binding on all parties.
Coordination of Benefits
The plan does not provide legal services in matters for which you or a dependent is entitled to substantially identical services or benefits through an insurance contract or any other legally enforceable arrangement. In the event of duplicate coverage, the services under this plan will be secondary to coverage under the insurance contract or other legally enforceable arrangement.
If You Have a Dispute With Your Spouse or Dependent
Where a conflict is likely between you and your spouse or a dependent, the plan can provide benefits to you, but not to your spouse or dependent. For example, in a marital problem, your spouse must select his or her own attorney, and must pay that attorney's fees.
If You Have a Dispute With Another Employee or Retiree
When a conflict of this sort is known before any representation by a plan attorney is undertaken, both parties will be referred to cooperating attorneys. The plan will pay for those services that would have been provided by a staff attorney.
Here's additional information about the UAW-DaimlerChrysler Corporation Legal Services Plan.
Legal Matters Arising From U.S. and Canadian Laws Are Covered
The plan covers legal problems arising under the laws of the United States and Canada or any state, commonwealth, district, territory, or political subdivision of the United States. Legal matters arising from other laws are not covered. The cost of providing a specific benefit in Canada is limited to the cost of providing that benefit in the United States.
No Assignment of Benefits
Benefits under this plan cannot be assigned, pledged, encumbered, attached, or made subject to debts. Upon notice of any such assignment or attachment of any kind, benefits will automatically terminate and may be applied by the Committee, in its discretion, for your benefit or the benefit of your covered dependent.
Plan Cost and Administration
Plan benefits and administrative expenses are paid from the UAW-DaimlerChrysler Corporation Legal Services Trust Fund. The amount of contributions to this fund by the Corporation has been established by the parties in collective bargaining. Benefits can be changed by the Administrative Committee, as permitted by the plan documents, if estimates made as to the cost of benefits prove to have been too high or too low.
This Plan is maintained pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement. A copy of the collective bargaining agreement may be obtained by participants and beneficiaries upon written request to the plan administrator, and is available for examination.
This section contains administrative details regarding the plan.
Alternatively, legal process may be served on the administrative committee or the plan trustee.
The plan operates under the authority of an administrative committee composed of three persons appointed by the UAW, three persons appointed by the Corporation, and a chairman selected by both parties.
The director, appointed by the administrative committee, is responsible for day-to-day operations of the plan.
Standard of Review
The Administrative Committee shall have full power and authority to administer the Plan and to interpret its provisions. Any decision or interpretation of the provisions of the Plan shall be final and binding upon the Corporation, the Union, the Participants and any other claimants under the Plan, and shall be given full force and effect, subject only to an arbitrary and capricious standard of review.
If the Plan Is Amended or Terminated
The Corporation and Union reserve the right to terminate or amend the plan, if necessary. If funds are available in the plan's trust fund at plan termination, legal representation of matters pending would continue until the matter is concluded, or for one year, whichever is earlier. If the assets of the fund are not avail-able to continue representation, benefits would be prorated based on available assets.